Canada's NDP


August 15th, 2022

NDP statement on the anniversary of the fall of Kabul

NDP Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Critic Jenny Kwan and NDP Foreign Affairs and International Development Critic Heather McPherson made the following statement:

“Today marks the one-year anniversary since the devastating fall of Kabul and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, which launched the country into the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. While many families have fled Afghanistan and are seeking asylum, others were left behind in an evacuation that started too late and ended too early.

The Special Immigration Measures for Afghans announced in 2021 are coming to an end, meaning that many people who assisted Canada on missions and their families may never make it to safety. Instead of expediting processing, the Liberal government made the application process confusing and full of bureaucratic red tape. The NDP exposed that at least 2,900 applications referred by the Department of National Defence are lost between departments. This is beyond unacceptable.

The Liberals have a duty of care to help people who worked for the Canadian government and their families - instead, they left them behind. Now those who worked for Canada as interpreters, security guards, as well as former women Afghan parliamentarians and their families are being persecuted by the Taliban. Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government are failing in their humanitarian and moral duties.

What’s worse is that Canadian humanitarian agencies are threatened with legal prosecution if they deliver life-saving humanitarian aid to Afghans. Children and their families in Afghanistan are starving because of the crisis, but the Liberals won’t even let Canadians provide essentials like food or medical care. While the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union have created exemptions to allow humanitarian agencies to operate in Afghanistan, Canada’s humanitarian sector can’t act because of bureaucratic regulations – leaving millions of Afghans in desperate need of assistance.

For the last year, New Democrats have urged the Liberal government to fix these problems. They must expand and renew the Special Immigration Measures for Afghans, reduce documentation requirements, allow paperwork to be completed in Canada, provide evacuation flights and apply special immigration measures.

The NDP stands with the people this government left behind and will keep fighting for urgently needed and life-saving assistance for Afghans."